With Sino-American tensions escalating amid a monthslong trade war, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to China from Thursday to Saturday highlighted an improvement in bilateral relations, but that doesn't mean Tokyo is about to move away from Washington toward Beijing.

Some foreign affairs experts in Beijing strongly believe that Japan should bolster political and economic ties with China, given U.S. President Donald Trump's coercive pressure on them to take measures to rectify their trade imbalances with the United States.

However, Japanese government sources have rejected such a view, saying that even though Tokyo and Washington are divided over trade issues, the alliance with the United States continues to be the "cornerstone" of Japan's diplomacy and security.